All at the IJA are extremely proud of the Irish Adaptive Judo Team who competed at the British Open Adaptive and VI Judo Championships 2023 on August 5th. The team managed to take home a whopping 6 gold medals, 3 silver medals and 4 bronze medals!! This is the biggest medal haul in IJA History for an Adaptive Team and for many it was their first time competing at this level.

Gemma Reynolds, Adaptive Judo Commission Chair and Coach provided us with a report on how the events of the weekend panned out for the athletes:

‘A very successful day for the 12 adaptive IJA members from Inspire NI, Simply Judo and Portaferry School of Judo who competed in the British Adaptive Open in Cardiff this weekend (August 5th).The team took home 6 Gold, 3 Silver and 4 Bronze medals, the biggest in IJA history for an adaptive team. All judoka fought hard, enjoyed the experience and displayed fantastic Judo. An amazing example of the potential our adaptive Judo members have. This is very promising at the beginning of our new adaptive programme coming together.

First off, we had the super twins Lauren and Bella who alongside Ben made a very competitive pool of 3, lots of effort got a Gold for Lauren, Silver for Bella and a Bronze for Ben. Next up we had Victor and Daniel who both competed against each other, putting on a fantastic display of Judo with Daniel claiming the Gold and a Silver for Victor. Following this we had Shea who threw with such a fantastic throw he was unsure of what throw he used to claim his second consecutive British Open gold medal.

This success was continued on by Chloe, who claimed a hard-fought Gold Medal, having narrowly missed out in previous competitions this was a fantastic win for Chloe after working super hard within her club. Next up was Riley who following an injury in his first fight, fought on showing great spirit to claim a Bronze Medal. Within this same category Jonah was the Gold Medal winner, showing great sportsmanship and lovely technique. A hard-fought Bronze Medal was claimed by Dominic, who fought hard against boys much taller than him, Dominic was very unlucky in his first fight scoring a fantastic wazari but unfortunately then getting caught by his opponent.CJ narrowly missed out on a gold medal in his category, CJ listened to his coaches, tried his Judo and showed fantastic sportsmanship earning him a very well deserved Silver Medal  and some points towards his next belt. The final bronze of the day went to Conor, Connor was the first deaf athlete from NI to compete at this type of event. Finally, we had the final medal of the day, VI player Colette who took home a Gold Medal.

As the first event in my new role, I could not be prouder of the team who performed so well and done Irish Judo proud. A special thanks to British judo for organising a great event and a special thanks to coaches Peggy Magee and Brian Cassidy.’

Huge congratulations to all who competed at the event, we couldn’t be prouder of all the hard work that was put in by all judoka and also by their coaches!